CHATER Thomas William
14788, 9th Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Thomas William Chater (known as Thomas) was born on 15th April 1896 and baptised at St Matthews Church, Rugby, on 24th February 1901.
His parents were Charles Chater and Sarah Jane (nee Batchelor) who were married 18th June 1893 at St.Matthews.
By 1901 the family had moved from Victoria Street, Bilton to 45 Pennington Street, Rugby and around 1913 the family moved to 7 Plowman Street Rugby. Charles Chater worked at the Gas Works.
Thomas was the second of six children and in 1911, at the age of 14 was working as an errand boy for a bookseller.
He enlisted early in the war in the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He missed most of the Gallipoli campaign arriving on 17th December 1915, shortly before the Division was evacuated to Mudros and then Egypt.
They embarked for Basra from Suez arriving 28th February 1916 to defend British interests against the Turks. In late April 1916, British commander Sir Thomas Townsend surrended the garrison of approx 10,000 men at Kut-al- Amara, considered by many to be the greatest humiliation ever to befall the British Army.
After reorganisation a new offensive against Kut was attempted. An attack was launched on the night of 13/14 December on both banks of the River Tigris. Around 50,000 men were involved in the advance.
Progress was slow and it was not until 17th February 1917 that the Turks retreated from Kut.
It would have been in this action that William Thomas was wounded. He died on 23rd January 1917 and was buried at Amara War Cemetery
On February 10th 1917 the Rugby Advertiser published, in the Local War Notes the following:
ANOTHER ST.MATTHEWS OLD BOY KILLED.
Information has come to hand that Pte T.Chater, 9th Royal Warwickshire Reg. was killed in action on January 24th. Pte Chater, whose home was at 7 Plowman St. was an old scholar of St.Matthews School, and enlisted early in the war.
Thomas is also listed on the family grave in Clifton Road Cemetery:
In Loving Memory Of
Pte WILLIAM T CHATER R W Regt killed in Mesopotamia Jan 23rd 1917 aged 21 years.
Also of Pte ARTHUR E CHATER M G C killed in France Oct 8th 1918 aged 20 years.
Also of JOSEPH G CHATER who died Nov 5th 1918 aged 17 years sons of CHARLES & SARAH CHATER.
Also of CHARLES husband of SARAH CHATER who died Oct 26th 1926 aged 56 years.
footstone: ILMO SARAH JANE beloved wife of CHARLES CHATER who died July 9th 1951 aged 78 years.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM